Time-resolved spinal MR angiography: Initial clinical experience in the evaluation of spinal arteriovenous shunts

Saad Ali*, T. A. Cashen, T. J. Carroll, E. McComb, M. Muzaffar, A. Shaibani, M. T. Walker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Spinal arteriovenous shunts usually require digital subtraction angiography (DSA) for evaluation. We report a unique time-resolved spinal MR angiographic (TRSMRA) technique with a temporal resolution of 3-6 seconds and spatial resolution of approximately 1 mm3 that has the potential to noninvasively detect, localize, and follow-up these cases. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eleven patients with clinical presentation and/or MR findings suspicious for a spinal arteriovenous shunt were referred for TRSMRA. Patients subsequently underwent spinal DSA to confirm the presence or absence of a shunt or were followed clinically until an alternative diagnosis was found. TRSMRA was also used to predict the level of the shunt in the positive cases. In addition, 2 of these patients as well as a 12th patient referred to us posttreatment received a follow-up TRSMRA to assess treatment outcome. RESULTS: Early venous shunting was identified by using TRSMRA in 6 cases. All 6 were confirmed to have an AV shunt on subsequent spinal DSA. The shunt level predicted by TRSMRA consistently correlated with DSA to within 1 vertebral level. In the 5 patients with a negative screening TRSMRA, DSA or clinical outcome confirmed the absence of an arteriovenous shunt in all of the cases. Posttreatment TRSMRA in 3 patients accurately assessed the success or failure of treatment. CONCLUSION: Combining acceleration techniques to achieve high frame rate TRSMRA provides sufficient temporal and spatial resolution to identify, localize, and follow patients suspected of having a spinal arteriovenous shunt. Further study in a larger population is warranted to assess the accuracy of this technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1806-1810
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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